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Table 1 The response of the Israeli Ministry of Health to the 2013 silent polio outbreak

From: Lessons learned from the 2009–2010 H1N1 outbreak for the management of the 2013 silent polio outbreak

Action Description
The appointment of a multidisciplinary response team The team consisted of pediatricians, epidemiologists, infectious diseases physicians, risk communication specialists, MoH officers and members of the national polio eradication and the national vaccination advisory committees
Hygiene campaign The campaign was launched at an early stage of the outbreak to inform the public about individual means to minimize the virus spread
Early IPV catch-up vaccination campaign Initiated in June 2013 in Bedouin communities where the first poliovirus samples were surveilled. Its objective was to maximize childhood routine IPV coverage, in addition to outreach sewage workers and undocumented immigrants
Intensified sewage surveillance Included stool based tests and followed by the development of a novel PCR assay, to specifically identify the outbreak wild type virus
Extended surveillance of AFP Individualized investigation of every meningitis episode during the outbreak to rule out poliovirus involvement among hospitalized patients
Reaching consensus within the local health community in Israel Daily panels including MoH experts and family physicians, pediatricians and infectious diseases experts were conducted in medical centers. They formulated guidelines and scientific materials that were published on the MoH website and e-mailed to physicians in the community and hospitals.
National OPV campaign OPV inoculation to children under 10 years old
Establishing a special media response team Informing the media and the public with daily updates using multiple (and multi-lingual) communication channels (e.g. television, radio, social media)
Updating pediatricians through their professional electronic network
Ameliorating the negative effect of the anti-vaccine activists by online responses on the web
Daily media monitoring by specifically contracted commercial public relation firms to improve MoH response
Monitoring real-time media response
Timely briefing of the professional responders in the media in order to maintain messages uniformity
Consulting the WHO and the US CDC experts Online and in-site meetings during the outbreak
  1. Abbreviations: MoH Ministry of Health, OPV oral polio vaccine, IPV inactivated polio vaccine, AFP acute flaccid paralysis, WHO World Health Organization, CDC Center for Disease Control